Friday, February 15, 2008

Where I am from Poem

After reading Umm Zaid's "Where I am from Poem," inspired by Umm Farouq's "mini poetry-a-thon," I decided to try writing one myself. In an attempt to get the courage to share what I finally wrote, I decided to re-read all the other posts relating to the original writing exercise, only to find there was a template to be followed. I never was good at rules, so here goes anyway:

Where I am from

I am from bare feet in new plowed soil
from old folks and old ways
from ancient, emerald hills that embrace little towns
and keep them safe at night

I am from white mary janes, gloves and a Sunday dress
little bible tucked in my pocket book
I think it was just for pretty
maybe read it, but never question

I'm from holding Grandma's hand,
looking at the stained glass window in church
Jesus has long, blond hair
blue eyes and a beard

He looks like the hippies
Grandma warns me about.
And Mary is in her hijab,
but I am not supposed to be like that

I'm from long hours with Mother
sitting on a stool while she cooks
hidden painful secrets
a love that shelters
"Nothing will hurt my daughter"

I'm from Home, where all is right and normal
everywhere else being…. not right, not normal
Everyone else is ethnic
with names not used in public
red necks covered to respectability

I'm from men who worked in steel mills and rail roads
and women who made a house a home
and filled jars with fresh grown produce
and grew to fill the new roles they were given
blooming with the times

I'm from never ending questions
and knowing something didn't fit
from being told to "do my own thing"
as long as I did it just like everyone else

I'm from the men and women and land that produced me
cut from the cloth of everyone else
stitched together in my own new pattern
imported threads embroidered on top
history in a fading quilt.

2 comments:

UmmFarouq said...

I just love it, mashaAllah.

Who needs rules? It's called poetic license for a reason. :)

Susie of Arabia said...

I loved your poem! It is beautiful. I just found your blog and will try to read through it over the next few days when I have the time. I am fairly new to blogging, new to the ME, and am discovering that there are many more like me here in this part of the world than I had originally thought.